SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There’s a lot to enjoy about October, including the fall weather and the changing of the leaves, but flu season isn’t so nice.

“We’re seeing some activity in especially in the southern U.S. and southeastern U.S. and it should be taking off in South Dakota fairly soon here,” Sanford Health infectious disease physician Dr. Susan Hoover said.

Hoover says there is some concern this could be an unusually severe flu season.

“The reason being because of COVID and people having less contact with each other we’ve had two fairly light flu seasons in the United States and so there are people who have not been exposed to an influenza virus in several years,” Hoover said.

The flu can be a serious illness. It can lead to missed work, school, or something much worse.

“Pneumonia, hospitalization, and death. There are thousands of deaths from flu every year,” Hoover said.

You can help fight the illness by getting your flu shot.

Hoover says now is a prime time to roll up your sleeve, but if you don’t, she still recommends getting the shot through February or March.

Hoover says you can get your flu shot and updated COVID booster at the same time.

She says it’s safe and convenient.